The homework for my college-bound senior English class last Friday directed students to visit TeachersFirst Wiki Walk Through.
Instructions for Monday were simple and direct: read three pages and come to class prepared, confidently, to share your knowledge about wikis. Prior to this homework assignment, only one student of my nineteen knew of wikis and no one had ever used one.
When they arrived to class on Monday, I welcomed them to a totally bogus conference where they were the presenters. They were given 45 minutes to prepare a presentation for a group of teachers attending their session entitled, "Wikis: 5 W's & the H".
They giggled...until I informed them moments later that half a dozen teachers were going to attend their session later in the period.
And then, a strange migration occured. All of the students moved to the back of the class, to the six computers, and began to craft PowerPoint Presentations.
Fast-forward to the next day: I began class with this question:
1.Why did you go straight to the computers yesterday?
Here are their answers, recorded by a student during this discussion:
I.To use PowerPoint
II.Because it's easier and quicker.
III.Because we can collaborate with our group easier.
I followed up with this question:
2.What is PowerPoint for and what was your intended purpose in using it?
Here are their answers, recorded by a student:
I.PowerPoint helps the presenter remember information.
II.PowerPoint are visuals to help the presenter know what to say
III.It's an easy thing to make in a short amount of time.
IV.It helps the presenter organize information.
V. It's a tool presenters use to help them feel comfortable.